SGAC United Kingdom
|National Points of Contact|
In 2012, the UK celebrated 50 years since it joined the exclusive ranks of space faring nations. The UK space sector is thriving under its current strategy, achieving consistent growth of around 10% a year, against a backdrop of a troubled economy. By 2020 this is projected to account for £14bn with 115,000 jobs. With 57% of its workers currently having a degree, this is one of the most highly skilled industries, which will continue its growing need for strong science and engineering graduates.
Following the ESA Ministerial in Naples, Italy, held in November 2012, the UK Government increased spending to space technology by £60m per year over the next two years. The UK has also joined the European Space Agency's (ESA) microgravity research programme. The roughly 15m Euros (£12m), four-year commitment gives UK investigators access to facilities like sounding rockets, drop towers and even the International Space Station (ISS).
Most recently, two major elements in Britain's space strategy have been officially unveiled in Oxfordshire. One is the European Space Agency's (ESA) first technical centre in the UK, to be known as the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecoms (ECSAT). The other is the Satellite Applications Catapult, one of seven new government initiatives intended to drive innovation in growing areas of the British economy. Both centres are on the Harwell Campus.
Young Space Activities Overview in the United Kingdom
Students and young professionals can get involved through their studies, student societies, conferences and workshops, so please get in touch!
Many universities have a SEDS (Students for Exploration and Development of Space) society, or astronomical society, and if yours does not, please start one! The SGAC UK National Points of Contact and national UKSEDS committee aim to help nurture new societies and provide support where possible. Please contact us to be added to the mailing list and invited to events.
The UK has a number of professional societies listed in the ‘Institutions’ links below. These all hold a varied programme of talks, conferences and events throughout the year which provide a great way to meet like-minded people and network while learning about new aspects of space. A number of institutions around the country holdspace and astronomy festivals targeted to inspire young people, for example the British Science Festival and the Cheltenham Science Festival.
Most regions of the UK have a local amateur astronomy society for practical observation through telescopes. They often have a schedule of talks and also hold star parties. Prof. Brian Cox has boosted awareness and raised enthusiasm markedly throughout the UK for astronomy following his popular Stargazing LIVE, a three day live astronomy event televised in previous years.
Country-Specific Events in 2015
With Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS in 2015, there is likely to be a lot of buzz in the UK, with lots of space related activities and events. The following list is nowhere near exhaustive, but provides a good starting point.
- Lecture by Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General at the European Space Agency (May 20, RAeS London)
- Lecture by Alexei Leonov, conductor of the first spacewalk (May 21, BIS London)
- London Technology Week (June 15-21)
- The Great North East Space Expo (June 22, Discovery Museum, Newcastle)
- Smart Satellites 2015: From Up There to Down Here (June 25, National Space Centre, Leicester)
- AIAA Spaceplanes & Hypersonics Conference (July 6-9, Strathclyde University, Glasgow)
- UK Space Conference (July 13-15, Liverpool)
- More coming soon!
- 3rd European Optimisation in Space Engineering (OSE3) workshop (Sept 17-18, Strathclyde University)
- World Space Week (Oct 4-10)
- International Astronautical Congress (Oct 12-16, Jerusalem)
- AeroSpaceDays Europe (Oct 14-15, Paris-Orly Airport)
- Space Business Show Europe (Oct 20-21, Excel London)
- SAVE THE DATE: Innovate UK (Nov 9-10, London)
- Re-inventing Space conference (Nov 10-12, Oxford)
- London Space Week (Nov 24-25, London)
- More coming soon!
UKSEDS keeps a list of upcoming events in the UK space community in this Google Calendar
Other event listings:
British Astronomical Association (BAA) - Events
British Interplanetary Society (BIS) - Events
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - Events
Institute of Physics (IoP): - Events in your area
Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) - Events
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS): - Events - Specialist Discussion meetings
Royal Society - Events
The Big Bang Fair - Regional events
TEDx - UK events
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in the UK
British Interplanetary Society
CaSE (Campaign for Science and Engineering)
ESERO UK (European Space Education Resource Office)
International Space School Educational Trust ISSET
Parliamentary Space Committee
Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Aeronautical Society
Society for Popular Astronomy
UK Space Agency
UK Space Directory
Women in Aerospace
Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck: Astrobiology & Planetary Exploration Meeting Programme
Cranfield University: Space Research Centre
Liverpool John Moores University: Astrophysics Research Institute
Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL)
Open University: Department of Physical Sciences
Queen Mary University of London: Astronomy Unit
University College London (UCL): Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Bristol: Astrophysics
University of Glamorgan
University of Kent: Astronomy, Space Science & Astrophysics
University of Leicester: Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Southampton: Physics & Astronomy
The University of Edinburgh: School of Physics & Astronomy
The University of Sheffield: Department of Physics & Astronomy